The Fact about BSNL’s Rural Telephone Services in India

BSNLs’ employees observe two days strike on 21st and 22nd of April, among the all other demands for Strike, one of their demands is that “Compensation for loss making Rural services”. So let’s have a look at  ?the proportion of BSNL’s Rural Connections in the overall Rural Telephone Subscriber base.


As per the TRAI’s press release Telecom Subscription Data as on 28th February, 2015, the overall Rural Telephone Subscribers are 408.55 million out of which Wireless Subscribers are 403.31 million and wireline Subscribers are 5.24 million. And, as per the COAI’s (Cellular Operators Association of India) Rural Subscriber Statistics for the month of February 2015, the combined rural subscriptions of Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Aircel and Telewings are 330.34 million wireless connections. This means that all other operators including BSNL provide only 78.21 million wireless connections. As far as wireline is concerned the BSNL still maintains its dominance, so we can assume that the almost whole of the 5.24 million wireline connections are provided by BSNL.

From the above figures and facts we can come to a conclusion that, the above mentioned 5 operators provides more than 80% of the rural connections, whereas BSNL along with Reliance and TATA Teleservices provide less than 20%. It is worth to note that only mere 1.28% of 408.55 million rural users use wireline connection. Invariably ARPU from the rural services of all operators is less than the ARPU from Urban services.

Now a question arises, can all other operators also claim compensation for providing rural services?

It is the fact that, once upon a time only BSNL provided rural services, but now all the operators are started to provide rural Services. It is not out of their Social Interest or in the interest of development of rural India, but because it is where future growth lies. The urban Tele-density is already around 150 and the Rural Teledensity is only around 47. So, the operators clearly understood that it is an area which will going to provide good growth opportunity rather than the Urban Area.

Article authored by J.S.SOUNDARARAJAN

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41 Comments on "The Fact about BSNL’s Rural Telephone Services in India"


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April 27, 2015 11:24 am 11:24 AM
as per your analysis 5.24 million wire line connections are provided by BSNL. There is lot of expenditure difference between wireless and wire line connections. in wireless , the operator has to take of his BTS and its back-haul, but where as in the case of the wire-line network, the operator has to take care of back-haul,exchange and its local copper cable maintenance. Hope to get the full data before commenting on others. I hope tt will be more careful when posting these type of articles. when posting a comment in TT, it goes to moderator and then it published,… Read more »
April 26, 2015 12:42 pm 12:42 PM

It is really an eye opener article to the myth that only BSNL provide rural services

April 26, 2015 12:35 pm 12:35 PM
Thru their comments all loyalist of BSNL prove that there is a total under utilization of available resources, ineffective management and poor marketing. Any exchanges might have some minimum capacity like 100 lines, 500 lines & 1K etc., only by providing very few lines wasting the rest of the capacity un-utilized. By effectively utilizing all these unutilized capacity through good services and proper marketing, they can earn thousands of crore as profit. But this need total revamp of working culture and professionalism from the bottom to the top management. When I travel, I saw many a times that Govt. buses… Read more »